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If Jews don't eat meat, won't they be deprived of the opportunity to do many mitzvot (commandments)? If God did not want meat to be eaten, why are there so many laws concerning the slaughter, preparation, and consumption of meat?

As indicated previously, Rav Kook stated that God provided many laws and regulations related to the consumption of meat as a reprimand, as a reminder that animals' lives are being destroyed, and in the hope that this would eventually lead people back to vegetarianism in the messianic period. He and others maintained that vegetarianism is the Jewish ideal diet and that God permitted the eating of meat as a temporary concession, with many associated regulations, designed to keep alive a sense of reverence for life.

There are other cases where laws were provided to regulate actions that God would prefer people not do. For example, God wishes people to live at peace, but he provides commandments related to waging war, because he knows that human beings quarrel and seek victories over others. Similarly, the laws in the Torah related to taking a beautiful captive woman in wartime are a concession to human weakness. We cannot conclude from this that we are therefore obligated to make war or take captive women. In the same way, the laws related to meat consumption do not mean that we must eat meat.

By not eating meat, Jews are acting consistently with many mitzvot, such as showing compassion to animals, preserving health, not wasting, feeding the hungry, and preserving the environment. Also, by not eating meat, a Jew cannot violate many possible prohibitions of the T orah, such as mixing meat and milk, eating non-kosher animals, and eating blood or fat.

It should be noted that the laws of kashrut involve not only the technical details of preparing foods, but also the blessings to be recited before and after eating. None of these blessings would cease with vegetarian diets, since the blessing for meat is the same as that for several other foods, such as soup and juice. Also, vegetarianism would not affect "food orientated" mitzvot, such as kiddush, Birkat Hamazon (blessings after meals), or Passover Seder observances.

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